Course Sequence - Major in Arabic Language and Culture

Spoken daily by over 400 million people worldwide, Arabic is one of the world’s major languages. The Arabic Language and Culture program provides students not only with a good knowledge of the language itself, but also with an invaluable perspective on Arabic culture, history, literature, philosophy, religion and society. In addition, agreements between the University of Ottawa and other universities in the Arab world allow students to participate in exchange programs in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt.

This program is for students who wish to discover the world and learn Arabic at the same time. The program includes a mandatory immersion stay abroad in an Arabic-speaking university, where students will be surrounded by the language and be required to take at least twelve credits’ worth of courses. A mobility scholarship to help students cover the cost of their travel and stay is available.


The Arabic Language and Culture program at the University of Ottawa leads to an honours bachelor’s degree, which requires the equivalent of four years of university studies and 120 credits (40 courses).

Bachelor’s degree

  • Honours BA with Major in Arabic Language and Culture


  • Minor in Arabic Language and Culture

Language of instruction

The language courses are taught in Arabic. All other courses are offered in either English or French.


Mastering a foreign language is an important asset in the business sector and in the public service. Career opportunities include civil servant, tourism professional and international business consultant, as well as positions in the field of immigration.

What can I do with my studies?

( is a tool that provides information on career opportunities for graduates in Arabic Language and Culture.




1This course has variable topics.  Students may take this course twice 

Mandatory requirement : Immersion stay abroad

A minimum of 12 credits must be taken abroad in a university where Arabic is the language of instruction and study. The University of Ottawa establishes ARB course equivalencies.

The foreign university and the Department of Modern Languages and Literature establish jointly a bank of courses from which students may choose courses.

Eligibility requirements:
1) must have completed ARB3911, ARB2101 and ARB2102;
2) must have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.5;
3) must not be on probation;
4) must take a minimum of 12 credits or the equivalent abroad.
Students are eligible for a student mobility scholarship of $2,000.

3 credits = 1 course

  Total 1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year

120 credits 

(40 courses)

30 credits

(10 courses)

30 credits

(10 courses)

30 credits

(10 courses)

30 credits

(10 courses)

Core courses

12 credits

(4 courses)

ENG1100  Workshop in Essay Writing

3 credits from:
PHI1101 Reasoning and Critical Thinking 
PHI1301 Philosophy: Ideas and Arguments

3 credits from: 
AHL1100 Introduction to interdisciplinary study in the Arts1
AHL1900 Initiation aux études interdisciplinaires en Arts / Introduction to interdisciplinary study in the Arts1
ENG1120  Literature and Composition I: Prose Fiction 
ENG1121  Literature and Composition II: Drama and Poetry

3 credits from: 
AHL1100 Introduction to interdisciplinary study in the Arts1
AHL1900 Initiation aux études interdisciplinaires en Arts / Introduction to interdisciplinary study in the Arts1
PHI1102 Moral reasoning
PHI1103 Fundamental Philosophical Questions
PHI1104 Great Philosophers
PHI1302 Philosophy: Themes and Texts





Arabic Language and Culture

42 credits

(14 courses)

ARB1911 Elementary Arabic I

ARB1912 Elementary Arabic II

ARB2101 Arabic Culture I

ARB2102 Arabic Culture II

ARB2911 Intermediate
Arabic I

ARB2912 Intermediate
Arabic II

ARB3911 Advanced Arabic I
ARB3912 Advanced Arabic II

6 optional credits at 3000 level from the list of optional courses

6 optional credits at the
4000 level from the list
of optional courses

6 optional credits from the list of optional courses

Minor or major

42 credits (14 courses)

30 credits (10 courses)

Mandatory major or minor added after first year

Students must add a second program, either a 42-credit major or a 30-credit minor, selected from any of a number of disciplines offered by the Telfer School of Management or by the faculties of Arts, Health Sciences or Social Sciences. The faculties of Science and Engineering also offer many majors and minors requiring 51 to 60 credits. Note that secondary school prerequisite courses may be required for the second program.


24 or 36 credits 

(8 or 12 courses)

The number of elective courses varies according to the second program:

  • In the major option, students must take 24 elective credits (8 courses).
  • In the minor option, students must take 36 elective credits (12 courses).



ARB2103 Pop Culture in the Arab World
ARB3101 Arabic Cinema and Visual Media
ARB3102 Special Topics in Arab Canadian Studies
ARB3901 Introduction to Arabic Literature
ARB3902 Special Topics in Arabic I: Prose
ARB3921 Directed Studies in Arabic
ARB4903 Special Topics in Arabic Culture
ARB4904 Practicum in Arabic
ARB4911 Advanced Arabic III
ARB4912 Advanced Arabic IV
HIS2160 History of the Middle East from World War I
PHI2381 Arab Philosophy
SRS3315 Islam
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